More than 300 people gathered at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery for a unique exhibition of work by Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci, hosted by accountancy, tax and investment management firm Smith & Williamson, which is one of the main sponsors of the exhibition.

Bristol is one of 12 cities which are displaying 12 original drawings, selected to reflect the full range of the artist’s interests including painting, sculpture, architecture, music, anatomy, engineering, cartography, geology and botany.

The drawings from the Royal Collection Trust are being shared across the UK to mark the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death in 1519. They include examples of all the drawing materials employed by Leonardo, including pen and ink, red and black chalks, watercolour and metalpoint.

Louise Somerset, private client tax partner at Smith & Williamson, Bristol, told the guests at the private viewing of Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing: “We are proud to be playing a part in ensuring Bristol is involved in this fantastic national event. It will be one of the biggest cultural events in the city in 2019.”

Dr Jenny Gaschke, fine art curator at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery said: “Leonardo da Vinci is the artist, possibly along with Vincent van Gogh, of whom everyone has heard.

“However, unlike Vincent, Leonardo’s work was popular in his own lifetime. It has always been a touchstone of European art history and has never really left the canon.”

Guests also heard from HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bristol, Peaches Golding, and watched a video from HRH Prince Charles, who is the Chairman of the Royal Collection Trust.

Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing is also being sponsored by Clifton High School and Resource Solutions Group and runs in Bristol until 6 May 2019.

In May, all 144 drawings will be brought together for a major exhibition at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace. A selection of 80 drawings will then travel to The Queen’s Gallery at Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh in November.

Main image: Left to right, Dr Jenny Gaschke, Nigel Hardy of Smith & Williamson, Peaches Golding and Louise Somerset